AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, NYU, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 16.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aisha T. Langford, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor Department of Population Health Co-Director, CTSI Recruitment and Retention Core NYU Grossman School of Medicine NYU Langone Health New York, NY 10016 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In 2018, the American Heart Association (AHA) published an updated Scientific Statement on Resistant Hypertension. The term apparent treatment-resistant hypertension (aTRH) is used when pseudoresistance (e.g., white coat effect, medication nonadherence) cannot be excluded. The current study was designed to investigate if Black adults with aTRH, a group disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease, receive evidence-based approaches to lower blood pressure as recommended in the 2018 AHA Scientific Statement. Specifically, we studied healthy lifestyle factors including not smoking, not consuming alcohol, ≥75 minutes of vigorous-intensity or ≥150 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity per week, and body mass index <25 kg/m2; and recommended antihypertensive medication classes among US Black adults. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Social Issues / 01.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Shingo Yanagiya Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine Sapporo, Japan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Thank you very much for your question. Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases including stroke and ischemic heart disease. Due to the relatively high prevalence of hypertension, there is an increased public burden resulting mainly from cardiovascular disease. It is well known that hypertension is associated with several lifestyle factors, including excessive intake of salt or alcohol, obesity, inactivity, and other personal attributes. Since socioeconomic status affects individual lifestyles and other factors, differences in socioeconomic status may influence the risk of hypertension. Therefore, it is important to clarify whether the risk of hypertension varies among socioeconomic classes when considering an effective strategy for preventing hypertension. Based on my research of previous reports about the relationship between household income and incident hypertension, evidence is scarce for Japan. So, we investigated this in an employed population in Japan. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, UT Southwestern / 15.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: DaiWai Olson, PhD, RN Professor of Neurology and Neurotheraputics UT Southwestern Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study resonates across nursing. Kat Siaron is a Neuroscience nurse who had questions about the ‘best’ location for checking blood pressure. Like so many studies this started with a clinical question: “does it make a difference where you check the blood pressure?” She applied for a nursing research fellowship and was one of 6 nurses selected. She spent about 3 months reading articles on blood pressure and looking to see if there are any similar studies. After confirming that this has not been done, she submitted her study for approval from the Institutional Review Board and started data collection. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease, Weight Research / 08.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zhen Yang MD PhD Department of Endocrinology, Xinhua Hospital Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine Shanghai, China   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Hypertension is a major public health problem affecting more than 1 billion people worldwide. And it is the leading cause of mortality and disability globally. Startlingly, more than half of people with elevated blood pressure were unaware of their hypertensive status in numerous surveys, partly owing to hypertension rarely shows symptoms in the early stages. Hence, hypertension is a silent killer. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Columbia, Heart Disease, JAMA / 17.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: George Hripcsak, MD, MS Vivian Beaumont Allen Professor of Biomedical Informatics Chair, Department of Biomedical Informatics Columbia University Director, Medical Informatics Services NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Diuretics are considered among the best drugs to treat hypertension, but there are no randomized studies to tell us which diuretic is best. Hydrochlorothiazide is the most frequently used diuretic for hypertension, but another drug, chlorthalidone, is gaining favor, with the most recent US hypertension guideline expressing a preference for it. Chlorthalidone is known to be longer acting and therefore perhaps more effective. Other (non-randomized) studies have been inconsistent, and some of them imply that chlorthalidone may be more effective. But other studies have shown that chlorthalidone may have more side effects. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Gout / 28.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stephen P. Juraschek, MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Division of General Medicine, Section for Research Boston, MA  02215 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Gout is a common complication of blood pressure treatment. Furthermore, 75% of adults with gout have hypertension. There are several classes of medications uses to treat hypertension. While prior studies have reported that calcium channel blockers like amlodipine lower uric acid, its effects on gout risk compared to other common first-line antihypertensive agents are unknown.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, JAMA / 26.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian S. Alper, MD, MSPH, FAAFP, FAMIA Board Certifications: Family Medicine, Clinical Informatics Founder of DynaMed Vice President of Innovations and Evidence-Based Medicine Development EBSCO Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We often use clinical practice guidelines as a “source of truth” for decision support for healthcare professionals and even as a standard of care for medical legal considerations.  However our experience evaluating guidelines for clinical reference support finds they are often inconsistent.  We picked one of the most common conditions managed in healthcare (ie hypertension, or high blood pressure) and sought out the top clinical practice guidelines that guide care around the world.   We systematically evaluated these guidelines against 70 specific recommendations to see how often the guidelines agreed or disagreed. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease / 05.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rachel E. Climie PhD INSERM U970, Paris Cardiovascular Research Center (PARCC) Integrative Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Disease Team, University de Paris, Paris, France.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It is well known that physical activity (PA) is beneficial for cardiovascular health. However, little consideration is given as to whether different domains of PA have differing associations with health outcomes. Indeed, recent work has shown that high amounts of PA at work are associated with increased risk of early death, however the underlying mechanisms are unknown. In this study, we explored the relationship between physical activity at work, during leisure time and as structured sport with baroreflex sensitivity. We distinguished between the mechanical (dependent on the stiffness of the arterial wall) and neural (nerve impulses sent by the receptors on the walls of the artery) components of the baroreflex. Importantly, baroreflex sensitivity is crucial for short- term blood pressure control and reduced baroreflex function is related to higher risk of cardiac mortality and sudden death.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Obstructive Sleep Apnea / 13.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mireia Dalmases Cleries, MD Hospital Universitari Arnau de Vilanova and Santa Maria Group of Translational Research in Respiratory Medicine Lleida, Cataluña, Spain MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Obstructive sleep apnea has been associated with poor blood pressure control and resistant hypertension. Moreover, it has been described that its treatment with continuous positive pressure (CPAP) could be an effective means of controlling blood pressure in this population. Nevertheless, studies assessing OSA prevalence, characteristics and association with blood pressure control in resistant hypertensive patients are limited and that’s the reason why we decided to perform this study. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, University of Pennsylvania / 09.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jordana Cohen, MD, MSCE Assistant Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology Renal-Electrolyte and Hypertension Division Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the June 18, 2019 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, we published a systematic review and meta-analysis evaluating the cardiovascular risks of white coat hypertension (WCH; i.e. elevated office blood pressure and normal out-of-office blood pressure). The goal of the meta-analysis was to clarify previous mixed results regarding the risks of untreated WCH and treated WCH. The meta-analysis examined 27 studies – including 64,273 patients – and demonstrated that untreated WCH is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events (36%), all-cause mortality (33%), and cardiovascular mortality (109%) compared to normotension. This risk was strongest in studies with a mean age ≥55 years or that included participants with cardiac risk factors, such as diabetes and chronic kidney disease. We found no increased cardiovascular risk associated with treated white coat hypertension. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Technology / 07.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kang Lee, PhD Dr Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study University of Toronto Toronto, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We use a technology called transdermal optical imaging I and my postdoc invented to record facial blood flow using a regular video camera on the smartphone. This technology capitalizes on the fact that light travels beneath the facial skin and reflect off the hemoglobin under the skin. Our technology captures the minute reflected photons to decode facial blood changes due to our pulses and other physiological activities. Using machine learning, a neural network model learns to use the facial blood flow to predict blood pressures taken with a FDA approved scientific blood pressure measurement instrument. We then use the final model to predict the blood pressures of a new group of participants whose data had never been used in the model training. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, JAMA, Stroke / 29.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Blood Pressure Monitor" by Medisave UK is licensed under CC BY 2.0Kazuo Kitagawa, MD PhD Department of Neurology Tokyo Women's Medical University Tokyo, Japan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings Response:   Reduction in blood pressure (BP) reduces the rates of recurrent stroke, but the optimum BP target remained unclear. The results of RESPECT Study together with up-dated meta-analysis showed the benefit of intensive blood pressure lowering (<130/80 mmHg) compared with standard BP lowering (<140/90 mmHg).  (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease, JAMA / 12.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Kazem Rahimi Deputy Director of the George Centre for Healthcare Innovation James Martin Senior Fellow in Essential Healthcare Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital Deputy Director of the George Institute for Global Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the last century, we have witnessed a dramatic change in the spectrum of valvular heart disease and the prevalence of this condition has been rapidly increasing, due to population ageing, with poor patient outcomes and high healthcare costs associated with the only effective treatment available, which is valve repair or replacement. However, modifiable risk factors for valvular heart disease remain largely unknown, which limits prevention and treatment. We used a state-of-the-art, gene-based method called Mendelian randomization to determine the causality of the association between systolic blood pressure and risk of valvular heart diseases.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, NEJM, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 20.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dike B. Ojji, M.D., Ph.D, FWACP, FACP Department of Medicine Faculty of Clinical Sciences University of Abuja MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We decided to do this research because there were no large RCTs before now that have compared the efficacy of contemporary combination therapies among any black populations in spite of the high burden of hypertension and its complications (such as heart failure, cerebrovascular accident and chronic kidney) in this population, and also the fact that majority require 2 or more medications to control their blood pressure. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, JAMA / 12.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alexander A. Leung, MD, MPH Department of Community Health Sciences Department of Medicine University of Calgary Calgary, Alberta, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The 2017 American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) blood pressure guidelines redefined hypertension according to a blood pressure cutoff of ≥130/80 mm Hg, compared to the traditional cutoff of ≥140/90 mm Hg. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Exercise - Fitness / 22.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael J. Wheeler Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute Melbourne, Victoria, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We conducted this study because separate lines of inquiry have determined that a bout of exercise can acutely lower blood pressure, and more recently that prolonged sitting can increase blood pressure over the space of a day. We wanted to know whether the blood pressure lowering effects of an exercise bout would be diminished by a subsequent period of prolonged sitting or enhanced by a subsequent period of sitting that is regularly interrupted with short walking breaks. We found an additive blood pressure lowering effect when exercise was combined with breaks in sitting as opposed to exercise plus prolonged sitting. However, this was only true for women. Men had equal blood pressure lowering effects following exercise regardless of whether-or-not subsequent sitting was interrupted (more…)
Author Interviews, Beth Israel Deaconess, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Salt-Sodium / 13.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stephen P. Juraschek, MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Division of General Medicine, Section for Research Boston, MA  02215 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Lightheadedness with standing is an important risk factor for falls. Sodium is often considered a treatment for lightheadedness with standing. We examined this in the setting of a monitored feeding study where adults ate each of 3 different sodium levels for 4 weeks at a time. Participants took 5 day breaks between sodium levels and ate the sodium levels in random order. We tested the hypothesis that lowering sodium would worsen how much lightheadedness the study participants reported. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Emory, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Sleep Disorders / 26.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dayna A. Johnson PhD Department of Epidemiology Emory University Atlanta, GA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There are several studies that have determined that African Americans have the highest prevalence of hypertension and are the most likely to have uncontrolled hypertension compared to other racial/ethnic groups. We were interested in studying whether sleep apnea contributed to hypertension control among African Americans. We found that participants with sleep apnea were more likely to have resistant hypertension than those without sleep apnea. In particular, individuals with severe sleep apnea had the highest risk of resistant hypertension. Most of the participants with measured sleep apnea were undiagnosed (96%).  (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension / 13.12.2018

MedicalResearch.comInterview with:

Eric J. BELIN de Chantemèle, D.Sc.
Associate Professor
Department of Medicine, Cardiology
Augusta University

Eric JBelin de Chantemèle, D.Sc.
Associate Professor
Department of Medicine, Cardiology
Vascular Biology Center
Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University

Jessica L Faulkner, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow
Vascular Biology Center
Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University

MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: It is generally accepted in the medical community that women are more salt sensitive than men. By “salt sensitive” we mean that blood pressure increases with increases in salt in the diet.

While we have known for a long time that women are more likely to experience problems with their blood pressure that are associated with the salt that they eat, the reasons why remain largely unknown and, therefore, the best way to treat it is also unknown. With the average American eating roughly twice the salt recommended by the American Heart Association guidelines, the effects of dietary salt on blood pressure are very important. Our latest publication in the journal American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension shows that female mice are more prone to high blood pressure when on a high salt diet than males.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Our report begins to shed some light on why women may have a greater risk of developing high blood pressure due to eating too much salt. We recently found that a hormone, termed “aldosterone” is acting inappropriately in females in response to a lot of salt in the diet. In healthy individuals who are not salt sensitive, aldosterone is decreased by salt in the diet and is protective to the blood vessels. However, in female mice it is less likely that aldosterone will be decreased, and this lack of decrease of aldosterone leads to blood vessel damage and high blood pressure in our study.In contrast, our male mice in our study suppressed aldosterone when given a high salt diet, and did not develop blood vessel damage or high blood pressure.We believe this variation in aldosterone production in women may be a reason why they are clinically more likely to have a blood pressure response to high salt diets.

(more…)

Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Heart Disease, Nutrition / 05.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Lowell H. Steen, Jr., M.D. Interventional Cardiologist Loyola University Medical Center Dr. Steen discusses how holiday treats & stress can increase the risk of heart attack. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main factors that are linked to an increase in heart related adverse events during the Christmas holiday season? Who is most at risk?  Response: The increase in holiday season heart-related hospitalizations and deaths are due to a variety of behaviors such as putting off seeking medical help until after the holidays, overeating rich foods, strenuous travel, excessive alcohol consumption and stressful family interactions. These factors can all trigger heart issues. Factors such as age, diabetes, high cholesterol and smoking all increase heart risk. Additionally, those with high blood pressure, which is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke, are exceptionally at risk and should celebrate the hectic holiday season with caution.  (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension / 20.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Adam Bress, Pharm.D Department of Population Health Sciences School of Medicine University of Utah MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? o   The background here is that the new 2017 ACC/AHA BP guidelines lowered the threshold for antihypertensive medication initiation and intensification from <140 mmHg in most patients to <130 mm Hg. o   We used contemporary, population-based studies of US adults to estimate the potential population health impact of achieving and maintaining the lower treatment targets recommended in the 2017 ACC/AHA BP guidelines compared to previous guidelines. o   We found that achieving and maintain the lower thresholds recommended in the 2017 ACC/AHA BP guidelines over 10 years would:
  • Prevent 3.0 million CVD events compared to currently blood pressure and treatment levels
  • Prevent 0.5 million more events compared to achieving and maintain JNC7 goals
  • Prevent 1.4 million more events compared to achieving and maintain JNC7 goals
o   We estimated the size of the population health impact of achieving and maintaining the lower blood pressure treatment targets in the 2017 ACC/AHA BP guidelines compared to previous guidelines.
  • Achieving and maintaining the lower blood pressure thresholds for antihypertensive medication initiation and titration by the 2017 guidelines, are projected to prevent ~20% and ~90% more CVD events over ten years compared to achieving and maintaining JNC7 or JNC8 goals respectively.
o   Although we estimated more adverse events with the lower treatment goal, what our analysis found is that the benefits of achieving and maintaining the 2017 high blood pressure treatment recommendations far outweighs the risks. Many adverse events from high blood pressure treatment can be managed medically – and the lower threshold for treatment could potentially help millions of Americans lower their chances of developing heart disease or dying from heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events, (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Duke, Heart Disease, JAMA / 06.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yuichiro Yano MD PhD Assistant Professor in Community and Family Medicine Duke University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: New blood pressure guidelines, issued in 2017 in the US, lowered the blood pressure thresholds for hypertension from systolic blood pressure/diastolic ≥140/90 mm Hg to systolic/diastolic ≥130/80 mm Hg. This change increased the prevalence of hypertension two- to three-fold among young adults. The guidelines also newly defined elevated blood pressure as, 120-129 mmHg systolic blood pressure over 80 mmHg diastolic or less. However, no study investigated that high blood pressure, as defined by the new criteria, is something that younger people should be concerned about as a potential precursor to serious problems. Our study is among the first to report that people younger than age 40 who have elevated blood pressure or hypertension are at increased risk of heart failure, strokes and blood vessel blockages as they age. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease, JAMA / 06.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Blood Pressure Monitor" by Medisave UK is licensed under CC BY 2.0Seulggie Choi MD, (one of the co-first authors) Department of Biomedical Sciences Seoul National University Graduate School Seoul, South Korea MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In 2017, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) issued a new High Blood Pressure Management Guideline, in which the definition of hypertension was modified as blood pressure of 130/80 mmHg or higher. This new criteria for hypertension was based on a number of previous studies that demonstrated higher cardiovascular disease risk for participants in the systolic blood pressure of 130-139 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure of 80-89 mmHg range, which is now defined as stage 1 hypertension. However, there is a relative lack of evidence on whether this association of higher cardiovascular disease risk among those within the stage 1 hypertension category according to the 2017 ACC/AHA guidelines is also true among young adults aged 20-39 years. Our study consisted of about 2.4 million young men and women aged 20-39 years from the Korean National Health Insurance Service claims database. Compared to those with normal blood pressure, young adults with stage 1 hypertension had higher risk for cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and total stroke for both men and women. Moreover, among those who were prescribed anti-hypertensive medications within the next 5 years since blood pressure measurement, young adults with stage 1 hypertension had their higher cardiovascular disease risk attenuated to that of normal blood pressure participants. (more…)
AstraZeneca, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Kidney Disease / 05.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lei Qin MS Director, Health Economics and Payer Analytics AstraZeneca MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors (RAASi) are guideline-recommended therapies for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), but are commonly prescribed at suboptimal doses, which has been associated with worsening clinical outcomes. The objective of our study was to estimate the real-world associations between RAASi dose and adverse clinical outcomes in patients prescribed RAASi therapies with new-onset CKD in the UK. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease, UT Southwestern / 31.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wanpen Vongpatanasin, M.D. Professor of Medicine Norman & Audrey Kaplan Chair in Hypertension Fredric L. Coe Professorship in Nephrolithiasis and Mineral Metabolism Research Director, Hypertension Section, Cardiology Division, UT Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, TX 75390-8586 Dr. Wanpen Vongpatanasin, M.D. Professor of Medicine Program Director, Hypertension Fellowship Program UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The new US hypertension guideline places a greater emphasis on out-of-office blood pressure measurement, and maintains that a clinic BP of 130/80 mm Hg is equivalent to the same reading for home BP monitoring or daytime ambulatory BP monitoring. That is based, however, on data from non-US cohorts, primarily from Japanese cohorts and some European populations. None has been studied in the US population until now. To find out, we analyzed large multi-ethnic studies of primarily young and middle-aged adults in Dallas, Texas, and Durham, N.C., that compared home blood pressure to clinic measurements, using the regression correlation (i.e. regression approach). To confirm the findings, we use another approach called “outcome approach” by determining risks of stroke, MI, and death associated with a clinic systolic blood pressure reading of 130 mmHg from the 3,132 participants in the Dallas study during an 11-year follow up. Then, we determined the home blood pressure levels that carried the same heart disease risk and stroke risk as the clinic systolic 130 mm Hg reading. We found that the level of home blood pressure of 130/80 mm Hg actually best correlates with blood pressure taken at the doctor’s office of 130/80 mmHg. This is true for whites, blacks and Hispanic patients in both treated and untreated population.  (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Toxin Research, University of Michigan / 26.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sung Kyun Park Sc.D. M.P.H. Associate professor of epidemiology and environmental health sciences University of Michigan School of Public Health Ann Arbor, Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It is poorly understood that why some patients need more drugs to control high blood pressure than others. Resistant hypertension is that blood pressure is not controlled with 3 medications of different classes including diuretics or is required 4 or more medications of different classes for blood pressure controls. Genes, obesity, physical inactivity, high salt diet, pain medications may do something. Lead is a widespread environmental toxin that can influence high blood pressure. In this study, we examined whether long-term exposure to lead, measured as bone lead, is associated with the risk of resistant hypertension. Bone lead offers a better method over blood lead measurement to discern long-term lead exposure and accumulation. The main finding of our study is that low-level lead exposure, measured in the tibia (hard bone), is associated with higher risk of development of resistant hypertension in a cohort of patients diagnosed with hypertension.  (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Dental Research / 24.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Still from "My Dental Hell(th)"" by littledropofpoison is licensed under CC BY 2.0Rita Del Pinto, MD University of L'Aquila Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences, L'Aquila - Italy  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There is a wealth of literature in support of a role for inflammation behind cardiovascular risk factors and diseases. One relatively poorly explored field is that of oral diseases, namely periodontitis, as a potential source of low-grade, chronic inflammation. Previous studies had described a beneficial effect of periodontal treatment on blood pressure; we extended current knowledge with our findings on over 3600 treated hypertensive adults with and without periodontitis, showing a significant benefit over systolic blood pressure behavior and control in the presence of a good periodontal health.  (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Kidney Disease, UCSF / 23.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael G. Shlipak, MD, MPH Scientific Director , Kidney Health Research Collaborative (khrc.ucsf.edu) Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology & Biostatistics University of California, San Francisco Associate Chief of Medicine for Research Development San Francisco VA Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  • Our study represents major advancements in our understanding of whether kidney tissue damage accompanies the diagnosis of chronic kidney disease during hypertension therapy.
  • The Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) was a landmark clinical trial that demonstrated that more intensive systolic blood pressure management (target <120 mmHg) reduced rates of major cardiovascular events and mortality compared with standard therapy (<140 mmHg). A recent announcement indicated that the lower systolic blood pressure target also slowed the rate of cognitive decline and dementia incidence.
  • The major concern with intensive blood pressure lowering in SPRINT is the 3-fold incidence of chronic kidney disease, as defined using the clinical standard of serum creatinine levels. This detrimental impact on the kidney was surprising because hypertension is a predominant risk factor for kidney disease, and hypertension therapy should reduce CKD risk.
  • Given the lower blood pressure targets in the recently-updated national hypertension guidelines, there has been substantial concern that guideline implementation of blood pressure targets could cause an epidemic of CKD and the attendant suffering from its downstream consequences of cardiovascular disease, heart failure, and kidney failure.
  • In our study, we compared SPRINT participants who developed CKD with matched controls, using a panel of validated urinary biomarkers of kidney damage. These urine tests can measure actual kidney damage, rather than relying on the creatinine which is an indirect reflection of the kidney’s filtering function.
  • In the group undergoing intensive blood pressure lowering in SPRINT, we found that the new cases of CKD had an overall lowering of the kidney damage biomarkers compared with the controls, contrary to what would have been expected if they were developing “real” CKD.
  • In contrast, the new CKD cases that developed in the standard treatment group did have overall elevations in the urinary biomarkers of kidney damage; 5 of the 9 biomarkers significantly increased relative to the CKD cases in the intensive treatment group. 
(more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease, JAMA, NIH, Nutrition, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Salt-Sodium / 03.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. George Howard DPH, for the research team Professor and Chair of Biostatistics University of Alabama at Birmingham MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Perhaps the most important distinction to draw for the readers is that this is not a paper about risk factors for hypertension, but rather a paper that looks for contributors to the black-white difference in the presence of hypertension.  This racial difference in hypertension is the single biggest contributor to the immense disparities in cardiovascular diseases (stroke, MI, etc.) that underpin the approximate 4-year difference in black-white life expectancy.  As such, this work is “going back upstream” to understand the causes that lead to blacks having a higher prevalence of hypertension than whites with hopes that changing this difference will lead to reductions in the black-white disparities in cardiovascular diseases and life expectancy.   This difference in the prevalence of hypertension is immense … in our national study of people over age 45, about 50% of whites have hypertension compared to about 70% of blacks … that is HUGE.   We think that changing this difference is (at least one of) the “holy grail” of disparities research. This study demonstrates that there are several “targets” where changes could be made to reduce the black-white difference in hypertension, and thereby the black-white difference in cardiovascular diseases and life expectancy; however, the most “potent” of these appears to be diet changes.   Even though we know what foods promote a heart healthy lifestyle, we still have major differences in terms of how that message is being adopted by various groups of Americans.  We can’t know from our data what about the Southern diet is driving these racial differences in hypertension but we can begin to design community based interventions that could possibly help to reduce these racial disparities through diet.  It is interested that diet more than being overweight was the biggest contributor to the racial disparities in hypertension.  This would suggest we might want to consider interventions to increase health foods in the diet while minimizing fried foods and processed meats. While this is not a clinical trial that “proves” that changes in diet will reduce the disparity in blood pressure, we consider the “message” of the paper to be good news, as the things that we found that contribute to this black-white difference are things that can be changed.   While it is always hard for individual people to change their diet, it can be done.   More importantly, over time we as a society have been changing what we eat … but we need to “double down” and try to change this faster.   Also, policy changes of play a role to gently make changes in these diet, where for example Great Britain has been making policy changes to slowly remove salt from the diet.   These changes are possible … and as such, we may see a day when the black-white differences in hypertension (and thereby CVD and death) may be reduced.  (more…)